Have you got a job interview coming up? Here are five things you can do to make an impression on the people who could be your future employers.
1: Dress smart and be punctual
First impressions are everything in an interview. If you dress smartly and arrive on time, this will make a good impression. In most cases dressing formally is a must. If you are unsure of the dress code, ask before your interview.
If you do not know the route to the place of your interview plan ahead because being punctual is very important. Lateness will almost certainly count against you.
2: Be yourself and be honest about your capabilities
At an interview, the questions are designed not only to test your capabilities but also to test how you react under pressure. If you don’t know the answer to a question, do not just make it up. Ask for a moment to think about the answer, or acknowledge that you do not know the answer. Honesty is always important. For example at a recent interview I was asked about my knowledge of Microsoft packages. I told the interviewer that I had used word and outlook in the past but that my knowledge of power point and excel was limited. During my work placement I was asked to use excel and because I had acknowledged my lack of skills in this area, I was given time to learn more about the package and documents were converted in to word so that I could access them more easily.
3: Use good English and answer questions appropriately
At an interview or during interview assessments your written and verbal English skills are tested throughout the process. If you demonstrate these while answering questions appropriately, your interview will be more memorable to interviewers when they are choosing a suitable candidate for the role in question. Answering questions clearly without going off on a tangent will make a very good impression.
4: Look in the direction of the person you are speaking to!
It is common courtesy to look at someone when they are speaking or to look at someone when you are speaking to them. I have known many blind people who either look at the floor or move their head from side to side when they are speaking. Doing this, or rocking backwards and forwards does not create a good impression at interview and will make a person much less employable.
5: Plan ahead
Planning ahead is the key to everything. Make sure that you understand the job role and prepare for assessments. Your plan could determine success or failure.
As blind people, we have to plan ahead. Plan what you will wear. Plan the journey. plan the best way to talk to your potential employers about your disability. All these elements have to be considered and addressed before the interview so that you can feel confident and prepared during your interview.
People with disabilities have to show employers that employing people with disabilities will not be difficult and that with a few adaptations and some help from outside sources, it is worthwhile doing. Therefore, it is important to mention the technology you use or can use on a day to day basis to make yourself independent, and to mention Access to work so that employers know that they will recover any initial outlay, as Access to Work will repay them. Make sure that you talk about these two issues without making it the whole of the interview as you want your potential employer to remember the interview for the skills that you have, rather than for your disability!!